Topaz Plugins itsy bitsy spider and a “H” stories voting reminder

Here’s a quick reminder to please — if so inclined — read the “H” Alphabet Challenge Stories. After, if receptive to the idea, the writers hope you’ll make the effort and vote for your favorite HERE.<<<this is a link

Clicking on the link will magically transport you to a post. There, you ‘ll find the poll where you can vote for your favorite of the three stories. Unless you want to deprive your friends of the experience, you can share that link and help expand the readership. if we say so ourselves — and we have to — most of the stories aren’t that bad.

If you’ve already voted, thank you. If you’ve already asked friends and family to read and vote, thank you again.

So, itsy bitsy spider . . . Two days ago, I told the tale (<<<this is a link) of me hurting a spider, likely breaking one of its legs. As I said, I rarely (intentionally) hurt spiders. But, I do intentionally post-process their photos with effects I find interesting. Today, I’m using a few Topaz Labs Plugins and Standalone Apps.

You can click on the individual photos for a larger view. Should you want to see the full-size photos, that’s possible if you go to the SmugMug gallery HERE.<<<this is a link However, because they are cropped, the full-size versions are only slightly larger than these.

Anyway, here are the treatments I tried on the photos from the original itsy bitsy spider post . . .

I know some readers aren’t partials to these versions, but I find some very interesting and visually as striking — if not more so — than the originals.

If you are reading this post on a hand-held device, you’re not likely to appreciate these because you won’t see the details.

Really, I liken it to looking at a painting from a distance. You might guess it’s a painting, but you won’t see — or appreciate — how the painting is created.

Personally, I like exploring how (simulated) drawing implements can put down colors or shades of black and gray to fool the mind into recognizing a familiar subject even when — on close examination — the small details bear no resemblance to the small details of the subject itself. Whew! . . . that’s a hard sentence to read (and write).

Of course, as in the example above and below, the strokes do resemble reality, and that’s the trick. In these two photos, there are more than enough details for your brain to ‘see’ the subject.

From my dabbling in drawing, I know the trick is knowing (understanding) how the mind interprets the lines you put down and thus recognizes the subject with a minimum of information.

That requires an understanding of what are the key characteristics of a subject. For example, before emojis, there were emoticons.<<<this is a link My apologies to people who are intimately familiar with these things; I’m writing this for the three or four people who never heard or use these things.

Emoticons assume most people (not all) will recognize (visualize) a given facial expression when represented by a few characters. From experience, people will try and interpret the characters by either looking at them right-side up, or sideways.

Right-side up:

(>_<)   mad or troubled

(°-°) (°.°)  confused/surprised


:‑)  happy

:‑D  laughing

Of course, recognition requires a certain familiarity with the underlying intent; meaning, both the sender and recipient have to agree on the fact the characters are meant to represent an emotion, expression, or subject. By the way, I space them out so they are more easily processed.

Can you guess what these are without looking them up?






OK, that last one is a softball.

I avoid using emoticons and emojis and the like but admit they can have a place in texting and in certain situations where using a symbol to express an emotion or feeling is much faster and more direct than trying to explain it in detail.

My expressed antipathy for emojis and emoticons is mostly an opportunity for humor, but I seldom use them myself (except occasionally in texts). 

Anyway, back to Lefty . . .

Both of those are from the Glow 2.0 plugin. That’s one of the least used of the Topaz plugins I own that didn’t come in a bundle (meaning I purchased it individually), with Impressions probably being the one I use the most. I use Sharpen AI a fair amount but that doesn’t substantially change the photo.

I also frequently use an old plugin called Restyle. I use it to substitute colors or change the balance of the colors. The last photo was processed in Restyle before running it through the Glow plugin.

This next photo was first run through Restyle.

. . . before running it through Impression . . .

Same for these next two photos . . .

But, usually, I do straight Impression processing (unless I go to Studio and then add other effects like frames and stuff).

Here’s a gallery with all the photos presented in random order.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


Note: if you are not reading this blog post at, know that it’s copied without permission, and likely is being used by someone with nefarious intentions, like attracting you to a malware-infested website.  Could be they also torture small mammals.


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